UNITED STATES—For so many of us having daily meals is nothing we think about, but there are plenty of people out there who have no idea where their next meal will come from. Yes, it’s a shocking reality that is more prevalent than we’d like to admit.

The most troubling issue about hunger in America is that kids are at the forefront. What if I told you 1-4 children are victims of food insecurity. Food insecurity is not having an adequate amount of food each day. In most cases, many of those children only get meals while at school. So imagine having to wait another 12-18 hours before eating again. Yes, it’s horrifying to imagine that, especially for kids who need adequate nutrition and food to focus while learning. So what can we do to eliminate hunger in America?

Well its starts at home first. Think and I mean carefully think about this before you give an answer. How much food do you waste during a typical meal, in a given day, in a week, in a month? If you were actually forced to weigh how much food is tossed in the trash in a given day, the numbers might cause you to scream. It all starts with this perception that because I bought it, who cares if I waste it? Many people care, especially those who go without a meal or two on a daily basis.

The problem is teaching the importance of only getting what you plan to eat and doing so in moderation. We live in this world where we feel time and time again that we have to eat up as much of something in one sitting, but we don’t.  A nice food portion is something that can be held in the palm of your hand. Never under any circumstance should we put more on the plate than we plan to eat. Even if you’re super hungry, consider a small portion, you can always go back for seconds if you’re not completely satiated.

I think if we saw what was tossed, with what could have been saved or given to those in need, we’d stop being so wasteful.  Other options during the holidays is donating to food pantries and giving funding to those organizations that fight food hunger. If you have some non-perishable items in the cabinet or pantry that haven’t been used or you don’t plan to use, it’s okay to donate instead of tossing in the trash. That is food that can go to a family in dire need.

In addition, if you have multiple members in your family doing the same thing it can help build a nice package or two to be given to a local pantry, school or family. Anything that we can give towards putting food on the table for those in need has an impact on decreasing the number of children and adults suffering from hunger.

Just imagine if you happened to be in the shoes of those who suffer from hunger, not knowing from one day to the next when you’ll get the opportunity to eat again. Would that change the way you think about and how you perceive food? I’m almost 200 percent certain that it would.